question for the coventent theological thinking and baptism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    There has been a number of threads covering topics such as the "command of baptism," the "sin of baptism being delayed," and even a question of a person who refuses baptism as being saved.

    In casual thinking, I recalled that those who hold Covenant Theological hold as a major view that the church existed in the OT.

    I was wondering how they dealt with the lack of baptism by immersion (or at least no mention of it until John the Baptizer), and how the Covenant Theological position might adjust their view on baptism as a command, delayed, or up to the believer to accept or refuse.

    That is, do the CT hold baptism as a command and if so, why is it not instituted along with passover in the time of Moses?

    Or, does the CT hold that baptism was done as ceremonial washings where one was to dip a number of times?

    Along with this question, do the CT hold that baptism by sorrow, and baptism by the Jews crossing the sea in dry land are examples of by folks being "immersed?"
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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  3. Darrell C

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    Hello Aged man, while I believe that the New Covenant is in fact established by Christ and ratified by His blood, I do not believe that we can consider water baptism as part of salvation itself, other than a public profession of an internal work of God.

    So also with communion, it the death of Christ Himself which afforded atonement, not that which we do in remembrance of the work which accomplished salvation and made it possible for man to attain the life and righteousness of God.

    Concerning baptism under the First Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, or, at times called the Law, baptism in regards to washing was in fact a doctrine of that Covenant, and represents a picture of cleansing, though few would insist that "the putting away of the filth of the flesh" could in fact cleanse man spiritually, as the washing of the water of the word does under the New Covenant.

    Like examples would be circumcision as a sign of a covenant, which predates the First Covenant, but, pictures a symbolic association between man and God. And just as we see that the New Covenant offers a "circumcision of the heart," rather than of the flesh, we can also understand that this shows the spiritual work of the New Covenant as opposed to the symbolic, outward sign of previous covenants, such as circumcision in regards to the covenant made with Abraham, or the doctrine of baptisms (washings) made with Israel under the First Covenant.

    While not found in scripture, I have heard that outside of the Temple were many "baptistries" (and forgive me but the name escapes me) where people would, when coming to offer sacrifice, wash themselves.

    The washings we do see associated with the Mosaic, or First Covenant can be seen to be men...washing themselves. Whereas, the cleansing of God in salvation through Christ is accomplished by none other than God Himself.

    Just something to consider.

    God bless.
     
  4. JesusFan

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    not a Covenant theology christian, but do think they would see the Church "prefigured" in the Old testament, that the church was Jews under Old Covenant who were 'spiritual", and that just as circumcision was a sign that the child was part of the people of the Covenant, and as such , was part of the promises of God, and as an adult would be able to actual agree to being part of the Covenant relationship with God!

    So they would see a direct contnuity between old/new, as both were peoples of God through covenant, and by faith...

    Circumcision sign of that in OT/baptism in NT, and that is why hold to infant baptism!
     
  5. convicted1

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    Circumcision was the OT water baptism, a sign showing they belonged to God. The water baptism now shows the world that we belong to God.
     
  6. Darrell C

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    Also not a "Covenant Theology Christian," but just wanted to suggest that Israel was "created," not "chosen" by God, for they did not exist until He promised to establish them, even as we are not "the Church" until we are saved.

    This is a great Old Covenant picture of the Church, though, they were not the Church.

    God bless.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    God worked through "national/corporate Election" basis in the OT, and he moved to an individual type Election basis in the NT, as he elected those whom he would bring to salavation and grafted into the Church!
     
  8. Iconoclast

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    Hello DC
    I think they were chosen....

     
  9. agedman

    agedman
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    I think I am right in the following statements:

    > CT holds that all the 10 commandment law given through Moses by God are still in effect, however the ceremonial and social laws were done away.

    > CT holds that the true Israel and the true church are one in the same in both testaments.

    > CT must modified the 10 commandment law that they claim is NOT changed by the NT and still to be rigidly followed, by moving the sabbath to the first day (Sunday). Doesn't this action run totally counter to their view of the 10 as having NOT been placed in the same condition as the ceremonial and social laws?


    So, when I asked the question about baptism, it seems the responses fit more into perhaps New Covenant Theological perspective than the CT.

    Not to get too deep into the confessions written in the 1600's (or revised by Spurgeon), it seems that the more closely CT is held, the more infant baptism must be viewed as correct. Is this correct?

    Maybe I am reading too much into the responses.

    If the CT holds that the law (the 10 commandments specifically) as still in effect to the believers, and circumcision designated as an OT identifiable sign of the covenant and this was replaced by baptism, why then does the desire and practice of circumcision for the new born male child continue? Again, bringing into question the critical view of Baptists baptizing at conversion rather than as infants.

    Finally, without the words of the Pauline letters of the NT, the aspect of "baptizing" would seem left out of the three aspects of the OT law. In recognition of the "picture" and that it was a ritual repeatedly performed and not specified in any OT law, why then does the CT elevate baptism into law, rather than allowing it to remain as the OT examples and pictures (and the NT validated) it should (and that would include the "picture" reference in circumcision?
     
  10. Darrell C

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    Hi guys, I will try to answer these with one response in question form: when did God promise to "choose" Israel, before they existed, or after?

    Were it not for the Abrahamic Covenant, this people would not have been in existence for God to "choose them" once their prophesied stay in Egypt came to a close.

    So I guess it would have to be said that He created them that He might "choose" them, but which would take precedence?

    Even so, Christ is building His Church, creating for Himself a people, rather than choosing among men to see who might be a suitable member.

    And Iconoclast, thanks for including scripture, that is always appreciated.

    God bless.
     
  11. agedman

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    Personally, I think your post is great until you got to this part:

    I think it is a double act - two stage drama - with supporting rolls of "choice" and "creation" that perform a complete show.

    God chose a great number of specific people throughout the Scriptures for specific relationships to Him and His work based upon their suitability.(Abraham, Joseph, Noah, Job...) Each was selected because of some personal "worth" and no specific "creative act" is mentioned as done before the selection.

    God "choosing" from among the people of this world certain who would be appropriate for certain duty be it toward or against the church might include: Gideon, the apostles, Lazarus, Noah, Ehud, Esther, Herod the Great, ... Each of the above were selected for duty and each performed the duty and passed from the scene of Scriptures with little reference or comment.

    Certainly, I do think that God may create some (John the Baptist, Moses) from before they were born for a certain fate.

    But, the double act - two stage drama would include both the selection from the multitudes of those chosen and the creative work within those selected.

    The creative work of Christ in building His church, is (in my opinion) more in line with the implanting of a new nature. That the common everyday dead and bilge-filled unbeliever, will become a new creature, created in Christ Jesus unto good works that God before ordained should be the walk of that person.

    That each person in such a state is specified to the church that the church might be a complete unit unto His glory.
     
  12. Darrell C

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    Okay, to explain what I mean by God "creating Israel," consider:


    Genesis 12

    1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

    2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:


    We see the introduction of the Abrahamic Covenant, which is fulfilled when the seed, or descendants of Abraham become...Israel.

    Hope that helps what I mean.

    God knew in advance that He would do this, and it was He that brought it about through promise. Concerning the Church, it is no different. We see "seed" clearly spoken of in the singular here:



    Galatians 3:16-17

    King James Version (KJV)

    16Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.



    Paul makes it clear that the plan of God concerning the offspring of Abraham and the Church work toward one goal, that is salvation in Christ, as we know.

    The promise of the New Covenant does not annul that which God knew He would do when He made promise to Abraham. It in fact fulfills it, though this revelation was withheld from not only Abraham, but Israel as well.


    17And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.


    The First Covenant did not and could not disannul God's promise. Nothing could do that.

    The Covenant of law was a temporary Covenant until the promises of God would be made more clear in the lives and hearts of Israel.

    Okay, about out of time, but I do want to say I appreciate the discussion n this tpic. One that I feel is crucial to our understanding of God's word and His redemptive work in the lives of men.

    God bless.
     
  13. Iconoclast

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    they appeal to noah and the flood...1pet3:21, 1cor10..moses and the sea
     

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